Announcement! Great Australian Overland Adventure

By | February 15, 2012 at 5:58 am | 71 comments | Australia, Great Australian Overland Adventure, Jade | Tags: ,

Those of you who know me, will know that once I set my mind to something, there is no stopping me. And you may also know one of my other philosphies in life…

Go big, or go home!

So you wont be shocked at all to learn the premise behind the Great Australian Overland Adventure, which from here on in we will abbreviate to GAOA.

The Great Australian Overland Adventure

Travel, by overland means only, the entire circumference of Australia, while also cutting through the middle of course. A journey of over 36,000 kilometers! 

The plan at the moment (and we all know that plans can change) is to start in Darwin at the top of Australia and travel in a counter clockwise motion all the way back to Darwin, and then cut through the middle of Australia to Adelaide at the bottom. A portion of our travel is being sponsored by Great Southern Rail, and Greyhound. While our accommodation is being sponsored by Base Hostels. More details coming soon about our great sponsors!

This will all be happening from early May, so stay tuned!

The trip is being divided into 5 main segments.

Segment 1 : Darwin – Perth

Starting in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territories, I will make my way slowly to Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Along the way I will stop and spend some time in some national parks, enjoy some city life in Broome, and hopefully discover some marine wildlife in Shark Bay and Coral Bay.

Segment 2 : Perth – Adelaide

Segment 2 is sponsored by Great Southern Rail, and I will travel from Perth to Adelaide by train! The Indian Pacific journey will take me 3115 kilometres in three days. I will have the opportunity to experience the Avon valley and Australia’s expansive open spaces from the comfort of the train.

Segment 3 : Adelaide – Brisbane

As I travel from Adelaide, the capital of South Australia to Brisbane, the capital of Queensland I will pass through many of Australia’s famous cities. I will have the opportunity to explore the Barossa wine region near Adelaide, sip lattes and discover new music in arty Melbourne, learn about Australian politics in the countries capital of Canberra, and photograph the iconic landmarks in Sydney.

Heading north from Sydney I will entre back into Queensland and the laid back backpacker mecca of Byron Bay before making my way back to Brisbane. I’m sure madness will ensue in Brisbane with the great friends I have made so far, since making Brisbane my base in November.

Segment 4 : Brisbane – Darwin

Segment 4 is sponsored by Greyhound. Greyhound offers a great bus pass called the mini traveller pass, which allows hop on hop off bus travel between a variety of destinations. We will travel with them through the sunshine coast making stops in Noosa, Hervey bay and Fraser island, where we will hopefully spot some wild dingos.

Several smaller towns will also make good rest and relaxation spots as we make our way up to Airlie beach, the launching spot for tours of the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday islands.

We will have a break in Cairns, before heading north along the wild Queensland northern coast, before eventually making our way to Darwin, where we will hopefully not get eaten by crocodiles in Kakadu national park.

Segment 5 : Darwin – Adelaide

The last segment! This segment is also sponsored by Great Southern Rail who are providing us with a pass on the famous Ghan rail journey! We are saving the best for last, as I have always dreamed of discovering Australia’s outback. The outback could not be any more different from the landscapes I am used to back in Canada, and what better way to revel in it than by train? We will jump off the train in Alice Springs which we will use as a base for exploring the outback (and of course that famous rock too!), before rejoining the rails to where we will conclude our journey in Adelaide.

Is there something we just HAVE to see or do on our journey? Let me know in the comments! All suggestions will be considered!

About the Author

Jade Johnston

Jade is a freelance travel writer from Manitoba Canada. She loves travel and meeting new people has lived in 6 countries and travelled to more than 30. She prefers to travel slowly - taking overland transit or working/ volunteering in the countries she visits. Her motto is that she might never return to this place again, so she has to try to soak up as much as possible. To learn more about the OurOyster project, Google + : Jade Johnston's Google You can also shoot her an email at


  1. Cathy Sweeney (2 years ago)

    Looks like a dream itinerary & with some very good sponsors. Well done. I’ll be following your adventure.

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks Cathy! It’s going to be a pretty intense trip! Even at a super fast travel pace it is still going to take about 3 months! I can’t wait!

  2. Sophie (2 years ago)

    I adore Australia. You’ll have a fabulous time!

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks Sophie! I am really looking forward to it!

  3. Angela (2 years ago)

    Very exciting! I look forward to following your journey.

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks Angela! It’s going to be a pretty comprehensive journey as well!

  4. Cam (2 years ago)

    Now that’s an itinerary! Have fun, though I’m not sure why I even need to say that?! ;-)

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Lol thanks guys! It’s going to be an epic one!

  5. Tiffany (2 years ago)

    Well, if you’re going to be in Oz over the winter I definitely recommend hitting the slopes! Greg and I worked at Charlotte Pass Ski Resort last winter and we had a blast snowboarding all season. I can now say I am an intermediate snowboarder :)

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      I (Jade) am the worlds worst person when it comes to athletics! lol! I went skiing in France once, and returned my skiis and boots after one and a half days! I’ve just got no balance or coordination…. and I try to avoid injuring myself if at all possible! lol!!!

      • Tiffany (2 years ago)

        Well, I can understand that :) Still, the highest point in Australia is down there, Mount Kosciuszko. It’s in the “Australian Alps”, which if you’ve ever seen mountains before is a ridiculous name… Those things are really just big hills :)

        • OurOyster (2 years ago)

          Haha well maybe in that case it wont be too scary for me! I am from the flat flat prairies from Canada, so even the big hills might shock and awe me! lol! How did you find learning snow boarding to be? It always looks really painful for the first few days!

  6. Andrea (2 years ago)

    Wow – what a fantastic journey!!! John and I still have yet to do a lot of this stuff so will be fun to follow along. Sad we’ll miss you in Perth, though – we leave in a few weeks. Good luck with the trip and congrats on all your wonderful sponsors =)

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Where are you guys headed next? I have loved reading your blogs about Perth – im really excited for Western Australia!

  7. Laurel (2 years ago)

    Sounds like an amazing trip, can’t wait to read about it.

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks Laurel! If you have any special requests of things we should do or tours we should review, just let me know!

  8. Monica (2 years ago)

    Sounds like a brilliant trip! I did the exact same route but in a campervan so if you need to know anything, just ask. It was the best road trip I have ever taken so I’m looking forward to hearing how you get on :)

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Hey Monica! That sounds great! I am really excited to partner with Greyhound and Great Southern Rail since I dont have a driving license and can’t get rent/ buy a car! Although I would love to have one for the great ocean road… oh well!

  9. Amanda/Outback Australia (2 years ago)

    Hey Jade,

    Let us know when you get to Alice. We’ll organise some camping and maybe some socialising with the West MacDonnell ranger crew.

    Do you know what month you’ll be here? Might have a spare room here for a few nights.

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      That sounds *amazing* Amanda!!! We will be passing through near the end of our trip, so probably in mid July. I will definitely keep you posted on that! I have most of the dates of the trip planned, but I have gotten stuck in Queensland because I havn’t decided how many days I want to spend on Fraser island and how many in the Whitsundays. Once I work that out, I will know everything else to the day.

      I am really really looking forward to seeing the outback!! I think it is going to be one of the highlights of the whole trip!

  10. Laurence (2 years ago)

    Anything you have to do? There is so much! I spent a year travelling round Oz and still didn’t manage to see everything :) My favourite bits were the NT and northern WA, as well as the trip through the middle, although there is just so much out there that is incredible. Drop me a line anytime if you want any more thoughts, or check out some of my posts on the subject, here:


    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks Laurence!! I am also really looking forward to Western Australian and the Northern Territories… I guess because they are the less touristy areas of Australia. Although I am also really excited for the Great Ocean Road and Great Barrier Reef.

      Also I love nature photography, and I think the landscape of the outback will just blow my mind… so excited!

      I will definitely have to spend a rainy day going through all your Australia posts…. one can never be too prepared!

  11. Tom (2 years ago)

    You simply have to visit ‘The Big Banana’ in my hometown of Coffs Harbour :D

    Haha, just kidding, but you’ll pass it on your way down the Pacific Highway (Coffs is roughly halfway between Sydney and Brisbane). It’s always a fun picture for travellers because it’s just so random.

    You’ll also pass ‘The Big Prawn’ in Ballina and lots of other ‘big’ things. I have no idea where and when this obsession started in Oz.

    Looks like an AWESOME trip!!!

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Hey Tom! They have that same obsession in New Zealand for some reason! We saw tons of it when we were hitchhiking around…. giant salmon… giant Viking… giant bottle of soda…! LOL I will definitely keep an eye out for your big banana though…LOL !

  12. Pete (2 years ago)

    Looks like a pretty outstanding trip ahead of you. Safe journey!!

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks Pete! I love following you guys on your journeys as well! Have fun housesitting in NYC!

  13. Eric @ Trans-Americas Journey (2 years ago)

    This looks like an awesome Australian adventure. Can’t wait to follow along

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much! And you guys are the experts in giant road trips as well! I like to try to see as much of the place I am in as possible… and this trip should definitely help achieve that!

  14. Anne-Kristin (2 years ago)

    Hi Jade,

    this sounds so wonderful, and how great is it that you got sponsors for some of the way, I’m sure there’ll be more to come! I wish you loads of fun and am sending lots of love, miss you! And I’m really looking forward to your new stories :)


    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Hey Anne!! So nice to hear from you! I miss our mini road trips around New Zealand!

      You will have to come to Australia and join up with me for part of it! It would be grand!

  15. DTravelsRound (2 years ago)

    this is awesome!!

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks! I am really looking forward to it!

  16. Abby (2 years ago)

    Amazing!! Have fun!! Of course we’ll here watching. :)

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks Abby! We will try to not disappoint!

  17. Bryan (2 years ago)

    Deadly! Enjoy the adventure, I’ll do the same vicariously through the blog.

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      :D You are always welcome to come join Bryan! Miss you x

      • Bryan (2 years ago)

        Don’t tempt me, I may just do it. ;)

        • OurOyster (2 years ago)

          I will make it my life’s mission to do exactly the opposite :P

  18. Natasha @ Wandering Kiwi (2 years ago)

    Wow awesome! Have a great time and it would be great to meet you for a coffee in Melbourne when you’re passing?!

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Hey Natasha! Certainly! Consider it a date then!

  19. Michelle (2 years ago)

    That looks like the most AMAZING trip ever!! I’ve only done the east coast of Australia, and I’m dying to go back!

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks Michelle! I am really looking forward to the Northern Territory and for Western Australia since they are more “off the beaten path”, although the east coast has an TON of things to do!

  20. Stephanie - The Travel Chica (2 years ago)

    Very exciting! I haven’t been, so I cannot give you suggestions. It sounds like they have great beer and wine though, so try all that you can :-)

    Also, read Bill Bryson’s book In a Sunburned Country. I absolutely loved it, and I will read it again when I finally get my own Australian adventure.

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      I have had that book recommended twice now! I need to really head down to my local library and see if they have a copy!

  21. Rob (2 years ago)

    What a wonderful trip, I’m so jealous.

    My ‘must do’ for you is in Perth. Head up to AQWA (Aquarium of Western Australia) at Hillarys and book a snorkel or dive in the shark tank. I’ve do it twice and its awesome.

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      I will be spending about 4 days in Perth! I will be spending one day doing a Swan Valley food and drink tour, and then the rest of the days exploring the city… and maybe If Im lucky I will make it out to Rottnest Island :D

  22. Greg (2 years ago)

    I have been told that the true Aussie overland experience is not complete until your car dies in the middle of nowhere. Having experienced it personally, I would say at the very least it makes a good story.

    Though, to be fair, it’s difficult to actually schedule that in…

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Haha that is definitely true! So far, my trip is pretty tightly scheduled… and I havn’t yet penciled in a vehicle break down…. but who knows!

  23. Tracey - Life Changing Year (2 years ago)

    You must visit Coober Pedy. It’s an amazing landscape – make sure you stay in an underground hotel!!! It’s like being on another planet!!

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      You have no idea how much I want to visit Coober Pedy!!! Im just not sure how to work it into the itinerary as we are taking the Ghan through the outback and we will only stop over in Alice Springs. I might give Coober Pedy a miss this time, but I will definitely visit it some time in the future. :D

  24. Gavin (2 years ago)

    If you get a chance take some time and visit a place called Paronella Park Qld Australia. Its an amazing place between Mission Beach and Cairns and great for a day and night visit.

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      That sounds really interesting! A castle in the rainforest? Whoa! This is something I would definitely be interested in checking out! I might have to try to find a day tour from Cairns which includes it in their itinerary since I will not be self driving this section of the trip. Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention! I love eccentric little spots like these :D

  25. Edna (2 years ago)

    Wow, that is some trip! Good work organizing it all, have fun!

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks Edna! It’s going to be great!

  26. Australian Overland Adventure Sponsors! - (2 years ago)

    [...] Learn more about the project here, or read about what’s happened so far here! [...]

  27. Katja of Skimbaco (2 years ago)

    Can’t wait to read all about it!

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks Katja! It’s going to be awesome! Would love to have you come along for the ride :)

  28. Amanda (2 years ago)

    Wow, this sounds EPIC!!!! I would love to do something like this! Can’t wait to follow along as you discover Australia!

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Thanks! I am really excited to be doing it… can’t believe it is coming up so soon!

  29. Linda ~ Journey Jottings (2 years ago)

    Just my kind of trip!
    WA is one of my favourite areas, although having done a recent trip to the red centre, I can assure you you won’t be disappointed!
    Happy travels :)

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      THose are the two places that I am MOST excited for! Can’t wait! I think Im going to buy one of your maps for the journey as well!

  30. Cherszy (2 years ago)

    We’re planning to visit Australia this December, and I’m really excited. Since you’re going there ahead of me, I’m going to stay tuned for your tips and adventures around Australia just so I can be more excited. Don’t forget to post photos of cute kangaroos too! :)

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Haha no problem! i will make sure to capture as many kangaroo photos as possible :D Im really excited to start the trip… it’s only two weeks now until I fly to Darwin! How long is your trip around Australia going to be?

  31. Cherszy (2 years ago)

    Wow! 2 weeks to go! It’s so near already! We’re planning to join a cruise for our trip to Australia. If I’m not mistaken, it’s like a 12-day trip.

    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Wow! A cruise to Australia? Where are you coming from? That will definitely be a great experience! I have never done a long sea journey before… the thought of it always makes me a little nervous because I become sea sick very easily

      • Cherszy (2 years ago)

        Yup, though I’m not exactly sure about the details of the cruise yet as my mom was just talking about it sometime last month. She mentioned something about getting a last-minute Australian cruise since that’ll be cheaper. I think the cruise liner’s gonna be Princess Cruises, which we’ve sailed with before when we went on a Mediterranean tour.

        I’ll actually be coming from Manila, but I think we’ll have to fly somewhere to the States first to board the ship since most cruises don’t stop by the Philippine shores.

        Oh, joining a cruise is a fun experience! I personally prefer a land tour since we’re more pressed for time when we join a cruise, but if you want like a light tour and you just want to relax, I think taking a cruise is a great option. There is unlimited food, unlimited use of the pool, great service from the staff, and you don’t really have to worry about transferring your suitcases from hotel to hotel when you move from city to city. The last perk is my mom’s fave since she hates having to pack and unpack all the time when she’s on vacation. And like you, she used to hate the idea of getting on a cruise ship because she gets seasick and she hates seeing only water surrounding the ship, but now she loves it more than a land tour. She’s always on the lookout for cheap cruise deals now. So, I think you should give it a shot. Maybe go on a short cruise trip first just to get used to the feeling of being rocked by the ship and then you can join one of those with a longer duration. What do you say? :)

        • OurOyster (2 years ago)

          Do you know which places you will be stopping in Australia, and for how long? There is soooo much to see here! I hope you get a fair amount of time to see stuff on shore :D

          I would really like to do a cruise to Antartica some day…. it would be amazing to see Empire Penguins!

          • Cherszy (2 years ago)

            We’re still not sure about the exact itinerary of the trip, but I also hope that we get to have enough, if not more than enough, time to see everything that we have to see about Australia. It’ll seriously be a shame if we don’t.

            Oh! A cruise to Antarctica! I didn’t think about that, and now that you mentioned it, that sounds like a really fun adventure. And penguins! Now, I just want to embark on a ship and sail to Antarctica, but I know my body can’t handle the weather just yet, so maybe in 10 years’ time. If ever you get the chance to Antarctica, you should totally tell me about your adventure. :)

          • OurOyster (2 years ago)

            I most certainly will! I am planning a big trip around South America next year, and that is a good place to join a boat heading to Antartica…. so budget permitting, I will do it then. So hopefully I can get over my sea sickness issues before then!

  32. Gerald Englebretsen (2 years ago)

    Hey – hope things are steaming along … altho the weather is cooling now. Are you coming to Tassie as a side trip from Melbourne?
    Just asking ‘coz compared with the BIG distances you are doing on the mainland, Tassie is compact, we DO HAVE mountains and lots to oggle at.


    • OurOyster (2 years ago)

      Hey Gerald! I don’t think I will be able to make it to Tasmania this time, unfortunately. I want to stay in Australia for another year, so I need to complete 88 days of agricultural work, which is why I need to make sure the trip ends by a certain date. But once I get my second visa, I plan to make visiting Tasmania a priority!